Egypt 1 Other Step to Military Government by New Controversial Law

Egypt 1 Other Step to Military Government by New Controversial Law
Mon Aug 17, 2015 19:05:36

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has approved an anti-terrorism law that sets up special courts and provides protections to its enforcers.

The controversial law, published in the government's official gazette on Sunday, sets a minimum fine of 200,000 pounds (about $25,000) and a maximum of 500,000 pounds for anyone who strays from government statements in publishing or spreading "false" reports on attacks or security operations against armed fighters.

Critics say the steep fines may shut down smaller newspapers, and deter larger ones from independently reporting on attacks and operations against armed fighters.

It also shields those applying it, such as the military and police, from legal ramifications for the proportionate use of force "in performing their duties." The law also seeks prison terms for those found guilty of "inciting, or prepared to incite, directly or indirectly, a terrorist act".

Sisi had promised a tougher legal system in July, after a car bomb attack that killed the top public prosecutor, the highest level state official to be killed in years.

According to this law Journalists will be fined for contradicting the authorities' version of any "terrorist" attack.

Egypt is facing an increasing violence in North Sinai, where one armed group has pledged allegiance to so-called “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) terrorist group. Cairo and other cities have also witnessed attacks.

Hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been sentenced to death in mass trials since Sisi, a former army chief, overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Ousted president Morsi himself, sentenced to death last June, has appealed his verdict.

At least 1,400 people, many of them supporters of Morsi, were killed in a crackdown on protests after his overthrow.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group, once the most influential grassroots organization in the country, has been blacklisted as a "terrorist" organization.

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